Analysis of Failed States: Some Problems of Definition and Measurement

The Romanian Economic Journal, Year X, No. 25 bis, November 2007

20 Pages Posted: 28 Feb 2011

See all articles by Valentin Cojanu

Valentin Cojanu

Academy of Economic Studies of Bucharest

Alina-Irina Popescu

The Bucharest University of Economic Studies (Academia de Studii Economice din Bucuresti)

Date Written: November 22, 2007

Abstract

It has become a common claim that the gravest dangers to world security are no longer military threats from rival great powers, but rather transnational threats emanating from poorly governed countries.

Since the end of the Cold War, the international community has become increasingly preoccupied with the phenomenon usually named "state failure", because state failure causes a wide range of humanitarian, legal, and security problems. Recent examples of failed states are familiar to all of us, from the total collapse of the state institutions in Somalia and the disintegration of the former Yugoslavia to the varied crisis in Rwanda, Haiti, Liberia, Congo, Sierra Leone, and Afghanistan. But how can we measure or define if a state is a "weak" or a "failed" state?

Due to the importance gained by this issue, several international organizations (World Bank, The Fund for Peace) and national institutions (U.S. National Security and the Commission on Weak States, United Kingdom's Department for International Development) performed several surveys in this respect. This paper aims to identify and to analyze they ways to measure state failure and concludes with commentaries drawn on a contrasting perspective of three most renowned attempts (e.g. the Transformational Index of the Bertelsmann Foundation, the Governance Index of the World Bank, and the Failed States Index of the Foreign Policy Council).

Keywords: failed states, security, development

JEL Classification: F52, O19

Suggested Citation

Cojanu, Valentin and Popescu, Alina-Irina, Analysis of Failed States: Some Problems of Definition and Measurement (November 22, 2007). The Romanian Economic Journal, Year X, No. 25 bis, November 2007, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1769654

Valentin Cojanu

Academy of Economic Studies of Bucharest ( email )

6, Romana Square, District 1
Bucharest, 010374
Romania

Alina-Irina Popescu (Contact Author)

The Bucharest University of Economic Studies (Academia de Studii Economice din Bucuresti) ( email )

6, Romana Square, District 1
Bucharest, 010374
Romania

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